But they've been setting up since this afternoon.
Jamie Leeds---the chef of Hank's Oyster Bar and Commonwealth Gastropub in Washington, D.C.---has three restaurants. She did it in five years. Women need to talk about money: how did you finance your restaurants? Leeds cashed out her 401k and mortgaged her house! Advice to the young: follow your dream even if you have to buy secondhand plates!
Be sure to check our twitter feed (on the right side of your screen) to see the winners as they're announced!
A crowded press room. People in black tie watching the awards on TV. There is a palpable need for strong martinis. We're in luck. Sort of. The lovely Charlotte Voisey, William Grant & Sons mixologist, has a plan to save us all from our worst instincts. Tonight at the Hendricks Gin Bar she's serving thematically correct Reverse Martinis. "This was Julia Childs's favorite cocktail---very sophisticated and Julia knew best that too much ethanol before dinner killed your palate. Instead of 5-to-1 gin to vermouth, she drank 5-to-1 vermouth to gin." For tonight's VIP dinner, Voisey is swapping Lillet for vermouth. "It seemed right that we pay tribute to Julia with this drink." Fitting and probably saving VIP from standing for Very Inebriated Press.
I asked 22 year-old CIA graduate Nicole whether it's still harder for women in the kitchen. She says women still have to work twice as hard. Her boss, Maria Hines of Tilth (who works for love and finances her own restaurant), tells women to stand their ground and become chefs!
Aldo Sohm is adorable and entirely self deprecating. He just won for Outstanding Wine Service. Now they are opening old wounds and Ted Allen is recapping last night's award ceremonies (I lost in the webcast category and CHOW lost in the website category), which has me already looking forward to next year.
Which is a good thing as it means there's more and more interest. I think we need a bigger room and more cocktail sponsors!
He's hosting this evening apparently because he plays Paul Child in the upcoming film Julie and Julia--he's brought a special sneak peek with him, he says. I'm looking forward to it since like everyone else I am enchanted by any story I can find of Julia and Paul's relationship. By the way, SF hometown boy Nate Appleman just won rising star of the year, first award of the night.
Barry Wine stops by to mention that he received the first award from none other then James Beard himself at one of the first Awards ceremony.
Editor's Note: James Beard died in 1985. The first Beard Awards was held in 1991. Wine is probably referring to his 1984 induction into the Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Hendricks gin table in the press room: combining cocktail hour with tea time.